In this tutorial, I will be explaining how MX Linux works and how you can take an old computer and revive it using a live USB of MX Linux.
A quick preview of what’s to come:
- A brief explanation of operating systems, Linux, and live USBs
- An explanation of MX Linux and the requirements that a computer needs to run it
If MX Linux already sounds useful to you, you can buy a live USB of MX Linux with installation instructions right here.
Operating Systems, Linux, and Live USBs
Operating Systems (also referred to as “OS”)
Put simply, an operating system makes the computer run. Most operating systems nowadays have a visual representation of files and applications (like Windows and OSX), but some still run on a text-only interface called the command line (DOS and UNIX are examples of these). Oftentimes, the operating system comes pre-installed when you buy the computer and it is mostly locked to the computer’s type. For instance, a Mac computer comes with OSX pre-installed, and most other computer sellers like ASUS, Dell, and HP have Windows pre-installed. Both Windows and OSX come with a license; when you buy the computer, you actually pay a little more than what the computer itself is actually worth. That extra money ($30 – $200 depending on the OS and its version) is added to the cost of laptop.
Linux is a free operating system created back in 1991 and is still supported today. Unlike Windows or OSX that have essentially one version of the software that just gets updated, there are several versions of Linux that are all suited towards different things. You might have heard of Debian or Ubuntu, which are both operating systems that were based off of Linux. Operating systems like Debian or Ubuntu are also called Linux Distributions. MX Linux is another Linux distribution that was designed to be run on old computers.
On a computer’s main memory disk, there is a section dedicated to the operating system. This section of memory cannot be overwritten or deleted as easily as most other files on the computer (you can technically delete or replace the operating system, but that’s beyond the scope of this article). A live USB is essentially an external version of that bit of memory. It contains an operating system and can be run on any computer when you boot from it. (Booting is basically telling the operating system that you want that OS to run the computer’s hardware).
When a computer runs slow, it is usually because the operating system is outdated or it was updated to the point where the computer can no longer run it. This is where MX Linux saves the day.
MX Linux is a Linux distribution that is lightweight, easy to use and install, and can be run on pretty much any modern computer. The system requirements to run MX Linux are:
- 512 megabytes of RAM (most computers from 2000-2001 had 512 megabytes of RAM)
- 5 gigabytes of hard drive space (computers in 1997 had hard drive spaces with 16 gigabytes)
- An Intel i486 processor (which was introduced in 1989)
As you can see, the requirements to run MX Linux are incredibly low, allowing essentially any computer to run it.
If you have an old computer that you want to revive, you can buy a live USB containing MX Linux at this website here. MX Linux (and most other modern Linux distributions) runs similar to other operating systems and there are many reasons to use Linux over Windows or OSX. If you have an old computer and can’t get a new one for whatever reason, MX Linux can and will be your saving grace.